Lucile's musical roots are in classical music. She began piano studies in her native Montreal at the age of seven, adding the harp when she was eight. After a few years, it became obvious that a harpist she was meant to be. She graduated from McGill University in 1979 with a Bachelor's of Music (Performance).
Finalist in the 1981 CBC National Competition, she was invited to the Banff Centre that summer as harpist in residence. That year also saw the beginning of a beautiful relationship with the CBC and Radio-Canada! Many studio recordings and concert broadcasts: Showing the harp as a solo instrument became her raison d'être. Her solo and chamber music concerts have taken her to Rideau Hall, here and there in Canada & the United States, the summer festivals of Lanaudière and Le Domaine Forget, performing with musicians such as the Orford String Quartet, Tim Hutchins, Robert Langevin, Joanna G'froere, James Campbell, and sharing the stage with Louis Lortie and John Kimura Parker. She was invited as harp soloist with the Orchestre de la RTBF (Brussels), Calgary, Montreal, Québec, Ottawa... She has performed with the Chamber Players of Canada. She also discovered her passion for playing with choirs, especially at Christmas time. Choir conductors such as Matthew Larkin, Kevin Reeves, Lawrence Ewashko, Gordon Johnston, Wayne Riddell and Iwan Edwards value her sensitive accompaniment skills and have included her in many of their recordings.
That's the Classical part of the story. Then, the purchase of a Celtic harp in the mid 90's...
New musical styles needed to be learned since the repertoire she knew did not suit the small harp. There begins the adventure into folk, South-American, Renaissance and Medieval music; improvisation, arranging and composing; a little jazz. If she often chooses to bring both harps to the stage, it is because of repertoire: Since these harps have very different voices, personalities and chromatic possibilities, Lucile uses these qualities to best carry the music. That passion is shared with Toronto harpist Sharlene Wallace, with whom she has colllaborated. She has also performed in trio with Sharlene and Kim Robertson. In 2002, she premiered the Concerto for Celtic Harp by Canadian composer Mark Mitchell, which was reprised as a chamber piece with members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra; her 2012 performance in New York City was a huge success. The addition of a Salvi Delta electric harp (2017) will certainly put her on new a new creative path.
Based in Ottawa, Lucile teaches both styles of harp and her private studio is busy with young and mature students. She is a busy harp examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music as member of the Royal College of Examiners.
Lucile performs on 4 kinds of harps: a Lyon & Healy 23 Concert Grand; a Timothy Harp Llyr 36; a Salvi Delta electric harp; and a double-strung lap harp by Don Peddle.
"...has developed a fine technical command of the instrument. and brings a very personal touch to her music... an aura of unusual warmth." Carl Urquhart, the Montreal Gazette
"Harpist Lucile Brais Hildesheim's exquisite playing was another of the afternoon's major pleasures." Richard Todd, the Ottawa Citizen.